Also In Global Health News: Kyrgyzstan Aid; Malaria Progress In Angola; Zambia Downplays Freeze; Bolivia Objects To USAID; Testing HIV Earlier

U.S. Commits $6.5 Million To Kyrgyzstan

The U.S. has pledged $6.5 million in humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan, Agence France-Presse reports. “[W]e continue to monitor both Kyrgyzstan’s aid requirements, the status of its refugees, and will provide additional assistance as necessary,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said (6/16). VOA News reports that aid is “slowly flowing” into the country. “The first two planes carrying emergency supplies landed in neighboring Uzbekistan Wednesday, and the U.N. refugee agency said planes will bring 240 tons of supplies by the end of the week. These items will include tents, blankets and sleeping mats” (6/17).

U.S. Increases Malaria Aid To Angola

The U.S. has committed $32 million to fight malaria in Angola, “an increased sum compared to last year’s $18 million,” Agencia AngolaPress reports. Dan Mozena, the U.S. ambassador to Angola, “said that great victory has already been witnessed in reduced cases, that [h]as moved from four to three million, registered in the last few years,” and that the U.S. has “played an important role in activities of preventing and controlling malaria in the country” along with national and international organizations (6/16). 

Zambia Downplays Global Fund Freeze

Reuters reports that Zambia “played down fears of a looming health crisis” after the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria withdrew $300 million in health aid “citing corruption.” Zambian Health Minister Kapembwa Simbao said “the Global Fund would still continue supporting Zambia but the funding would now be made available through the United Nations Development Programme,” Reuters writes. “We hope that with the support of the UNDP, the Ministry of Health can build capacity to administer the funding in about one to two years,” Simbao said (6/16).

Bolivian President Disagrees With Some USAID Funding Decisions

Bolivian President Evo Morales is “threatening to kick out the main U.S. government aid agency,” in the latest scene of a complicated relationship between the two countries, Inter Press Service reports. At a coco farm’s inauguration June 5, “Morales complained that [USAID] is financing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and foundations that actively oppose the government.” Morales said, “If USAID continues working in this way, I will not hesitate to expel them because we have dignity and sovereignty, and we are not going to allow any interference” (Chavez, 6/16)

New Test Identifies HIV Earlier, Study Finds

A new genetic test can identify “people very recently infected” with HIV, Reuters reports. The results were published on Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The test identifies genetic material of the virus in addition to antibodies and can detect the virus about 12 days before the standard test. Researchers tested 3,100 people in San Diego County using both the genetic test and the standard rapid test, which identifies only antibodies. Fifteen people tested positive with the genetic test but negative with the standard (Harding, 6/16).

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